After starting the avalanche of duos and deciding to join the Brooklyn Nets and team up with Kyrie, Kevin Durant spoke for the first time about the Finals, his injury, how it affected his relationship with the Warriors and the decision to go to Brooklyn. He shared all these thoughts with Chris Haynes from Yahoo Sports.
As always, KD was direct and honest. No beating around the bush. Haynes asked him about the injury and how did he feel the Warriors treated the entire situation. Most people felt the Warriors made a mistake and there was a lot of talk that KD was told he could aggravate his calf, but couldn't injure his Achilles. Durant's view is different.
“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “I heard the Warriors pressured me into getting back. Nobody never said a word to me during rehab as I was coming back. It was only me and [director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] working out every day. Right when the series started, I targeted Game 5. Hell, nah. It just happened. It’s basketball. S--- happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s--- because I’m going to be back playing.”
KD continued to explain he always had Game 5 as a target for his return. In all the media chatter and speculation, we forget that most of these guys live for playing basketball and there is no better stage than NBA Finals. He felt better every day, felt good in workouts and then the injury happened. As kD said - s--- happens.
Now he is rehabbing the worst injury a basketball player can sustain. It takes a lot of patience and listening to your body. You want to work hard, but it takes time. While rehabbing, KD is focused on his new team. How did he decide to join the Nets?
“If I was leaving the Warriors, it was always going to be for the Nets,” Durant said. “They got the pieces and a creative front office. I just like what they were building.”
Kyrie's presence there helped, but he said their friendship is bigger than that. LeBron and Wade started the trend and showed players that playing together can deepen a friendship. We will wait for a year to get the full experience, and KD plans to come back as strong as ever.
As he said to Haynes, his mind is there - he just needs to get his body there as well.